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We are currently seeking 5-6 diverse core members to co-create the foundations of the community-- making/finalizing all major decisions together which are needed for the creation of the larger community including:


 • membership process

 • decision-making process/meetings

 • financial structure

 • labor contributions

 • the building of additional living structures and common spaces

 • what it means to live sustainably


We, then, intend to grow to a number that enables the deepest effective cultivation of community (10-20?).  We imagine a multi-generational community--diverse on every level--children are welcome!


Current Membership Process


1. First Step is to attend an informational meeting the first Wednesday of every month at 914 E. Jefferson, Suite G4 at 7:00 pm.  Let us know if you need childcare.


2. Second step is to complete the Power of Difference Survey (online) and receive an hour-long consultation.


3. If it feels like a good fit for both parties a person may then become a provisional member and attend planning meetings. Provisional members may participate in conversations but not in the consensus decisions.


4. After attending 5 planning meetings a person may request membership. This will be determined by a consensus of existing members and will occur in a racially balanced way. For example, it may require a person who is white, to remain as a provisional member until another person of color becomes a member



All meetings will include both items for "business" and community building activities and processes like those listed below. Any provisional or core member may request any of these (or others not listed).  Opportunities to learn how to lead/facilitate these processes (including consensus) will be made available regularly:



                                                                                                                                                                   Community Request (the processes described below the Request Form are not intended to be complete).



Name:        Date:      


(Note: Anyone may submit a request anonymously with the understanding that if there are questions about the process being requested, without a name associated, ensuring the process matches the submitter’s wishes may not be possible).



I would like to request the following process:


a) Dialogue; Topic:       

b) Dyad or Panel (circle one); Topic:      

c) Proposal/Consensus Process; Topic:      

d) Visioning/Problem Solving/Brainstorming/Planning Session; Topic:      

e) Support Session; Topic:      

f) Conflict Resolution/Relationship Building (please describe briefly):      

g) Matrix

h) Celebration; Topic:      

i) An educational piece (ex: Voice Dialogue, Emotional Freedom Technique, Non-Violent Communication; The Way of Council; The Work, Focus Wheel; Topic:      



Name of the person(s) you’d like to lead/facilitate this process if any (could be yourself):      



Following is a short description of each of the above items.  For more in-depth detail, please contact us.





Typically, a dialogue will have a topic or question that people speak to that is compelling to the group.  A dialogue can be characterized by its contrasting qualities to debate which: assumes there is a right answer and you have it; is combative: participants attempt to prove the other side wrong; is win/lose; people listen to find flaws and make counter arguments; defending assumptions as the truth; narrowing and sounds like “you don’t get it.”


Dialogue, in the other hand: assumes that many people have pieces of the answer and that together they can craft a solution; it is collaborative: participants work together for a common understanding; it is win/win; people listen to understand, find meaning and agreement; reveals assumptions for reevaluation; is broadening; sounds like “help me understand” and “tell me more”





A dyad or panel is a form of constructivist listening.  Constructivist listening is a model for interacting in which individuals are given the opportunity to speak without being interrupted. One person speaks and the other just listens for a predetermined amount of time (between 30 seconds and 30 minutes) about a particular “prompt” or topic or question. The roles are then reversed in a dyad. The process of speaking without interruption gives a person the opportunity to more thoroughly discover what she or he is feeling and thinking about a topic in order to construct her or his own meaning as she or he speaks.   This typically happens in pairs (dyads) but sometimes it’s helpful to have a panel of people speak to a topic while the larger group listens and then engages in a dyad to process what comes up for them during the panel. Dyads can, also, give people a fun and effective way to get their ideas and input around a topic—especially when there is a lot of investment by all the group members.  It can be a way to give input to a smaller group before presenting to a large group or to “warm-up” to a subject.



Proposal/Consensus Process


Consensus decision making is a way for groups of people to arrive at solutions which work for all members of the group. Historically, consensus dates back to early tribal humans, notably used among Native Americans and practiced for the last 350 years by the society of Friends (a.k.a. the Quakers).


Consensus decision making recognizes that all members of a group are equal in their ability to bring a piece of truth to the decision-making process. It attempts to make room for all voices on an issue, valuing the experience, knowledge, and perspective of each person. The group arrives at solutions and decisions which reflect the input of all interested members. It avoids majority rule where voting disempowers minority viewpoints.


After an issue has been fully discussed, alternative options considered, and the group is feeling strong agreement, someone in the group may call for consensus. This is a key decision point. A member of the group or the facilitator will summarize the issue and the key elements of the decision. Then a poll for consensus is completed. At this point, group members can exercise one of three options:


1.  agree (indicated with a thumbs up)

2.  disagree or "block" (indicated with a thumbs down- see implications below); or

3.  stand aside (indicated with a sideways thumb meaning disagreement with the decision     based on personal values – again see implications below)


Blocking or "standing in the way of….": A single member of the group can block or stand in the way of a decision. This is a powerful act that is reserved for those rare times when a person believes the decision will likely bring significant harm to the group or community. Blocking is not appropriate when an individual personally disagrees with the decision and feels it will negatively affect him or her. When someone blocks a decision, it means the person believes she or he has great wisdom or insight related to the overall ramifications of the decision, OR the person sees an important aspect of the decision that others have overlooked. Thus one person can stop a decision by the group. When the reasons for the block are understood by the group, a better consensus decision is often reached. It is expected that the person blocking a decision has significant investment and wisdom and will actively work towards a better decision. To prevent blocks, input from members is needed early and often in the process. The Quakers estimate that one person has about six blocks in a lifetime of living in community.


Standing or Stepping Aside: Members of a group may elect to stand aside during a decision when they cannot personally support it but see no irreparable harm coming to the group if the decision is made. A "stand aside" is appropriate when there is no need to protect the group from its own decisions. When someone stands aside, he or she is not held responsible for implementing the decision. Those standing aside should be mentioned in the minutes of the meeting along with their reasons for disagreement. By honoring and providing room for disagreement, it is hoped that negative gossiping, complaining, and resistance do not subsequently occur. If several people stand aside, it may indicate that the present decision is not fully formed in some important way. It is best to continue discussion to address the concerns before moving ahead with a decision. Decisions made without extensive community support will be hard to implement.



Visioning/Problem Solving/Brainstorming/Planning Session


This can take different forms based on the wishes of the person making the request and the spectrum of knowledge and experience held by those who would facilitate the process.



Conflict Resolution and/or Relationship Building


A standardized process for resolving conflicts and/or building relationships is suggested.  These two elements represent different cultural models of approaching disharmony.  For this reason, the adopted process is designed to address concerns across our socio-cultural differences and across levels: personal, interpersonal, community, cultural, and institutional.





Just what it says—birthdays, accomplishments, ceremonializing transitions, appreciating one another!



Support Session


This is a time when one, many, or all individuals in a group ask for what they want/need from the other members of the group.




                                                                                                                                                       Matrix is a model, a “social technology,” for creating inclusive, enlivened and aware relationships, groups and organizations. A group is a set of relationships (or connections between the parts). Leadership is shared and begins with optimizing the connectivity and communication between the individuals (or teams). We re-train ourselves to listen and respond to the needs of the whole while differentiating to become more uniquely ourselves. Groups become conscious, interconnected, living systems that are:


    •   Free from outdated norms based in competition and separateness

    •   Resilient and sustainable through times of chaos, growth and change

    •   Highly creative, collaborative and emergent

  • Connected to a larger Source that serves each individual, our relationships and the whole.


In its’ simplest form, the group sits in a circle and individuals check in with other individuals, one pair at a time, in the presence of the whole group.  Facilitation is as “light” as possible – letting the group find its’ way through its’ own process.